Somali Agricultural Professionals (SAP)
Friday, November 09, 2018
A conference organized by Somali agricultural professionals was held in Columbus, Ohio on June 22-24, 2018. The professionals who attended the conference gave the conference organizing committee the mandate to continue temporarily the work until an organizing committee for the next conference meeting is selected. The organizing committee proposed the following recommendations.
1. Agricultural professionals underscored the importance of political stability and security to the development of Somalia’s agriculture and the revitalizations of its role in economic development of the country. To end the everlasting political conflict and violence, they recommended that utmost priority be given to strengthening the political institutions of the country.
2. Agricultural professionals recommended that the Somali Government urgently open a discussion regarding the conditions of the Juba and Shabelle rivers with Ethiopia.
3. Somali agricultural professionals are committed to helping Federal and State Government agricultural ministries on the advancement of agricultural development.
4. The agricultural professionals recommended an urgent enforcement of the agricultural seed importation laws of the country in order to protect local crops.
5. To re-establish agricultural development institutions, particularly agricultural research stations, agricultural colleges, vocational schools, and extension services.
6. Agricultural professionals recommended the need for high quality and relevant curriculum development for agricultural colleges. The professionals pledged their support for the curriculum development.
7. The professionals underscored the alarming rate of environmental degradation in Somalia, especially cutting trees for charcoal production. The professionals suggested the following remedial measures:
(a) Prohibit all charcoal exports
(b) Add environmental degradation in the school curriculum subject area;
(c) Establish a tree planting campaign in all districts of the country;
(d) Encourage all newlywed Somali couples to plant trees.
8. The professionals agreed to establish an organization for Somali agricultural professionals and nominated a committee to lead the organization establishment effort. All Somali agricultural professionals are encouraged to join the organization.
9. The professionals agreed to hold one annual meeting every year starting 2019.
10. The professionals agreed to send a delegation to the country whose mandate is to implement the conference recommendations.
11. The professionals recommended that professionals in other disciplines might establish their own organizations so that they can fulfill their obligations towards re-building the country.
12. The participants mandated members of the conference organizing committee to prepare the foundation for an organization for Somali agricultural professionals.
13. The professionals recommended the need to facilitate agricultural inputs and tools to farmers to boost the country’s agricultural productivity.
14. The professionals agreed the need to have members of the agricultural professional community who can implement the conference recommendations across the country.
15. The professionals underscored the need to protect local food production systems from cheap donor provided food.
16. The professionals highlighted the importance of Agro-processing and value addition of Somali agricultural crops, livestock and fisheries and agreed to promote the development of agricultural industries through collaborations of the Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce, Industry and the private sector.
17. The professionals express their gratitude to the Columbus (Ohio) Somali Community for hosting the conference and all the participating media channels such as Hiiraan Onine, SNTV and VOA